One of my biggest parenting dilemmas is how and when to ask for help. It's not that I desire to independently soldier through on my own; it's just that in the past I apparently ask at either a bad time or for something not deemed worthy of needing assistance, whereas the things that people seem glad to help out with don't really affect me so greatly. So when I do ask, I get an annoyed response that the friend or family member is busy or tireder or worse off than myself. So I shrink back into my own little safe, non-rejectable world and the next time I really wish I had someone I could call for support, I don't even try.
Today, for instance, Hubby and I were up the entire night with Little Mister who had an unexpected case of plugged plumbing. He moaned and screamed and cried all night, holding in what he knew would be painful to get out, while Hubby and I tried everything we could think of, from a warm bath to back rubs to calling the doctor, to storming the grocery store the minute it opened at 5am for suppositories and pediatric enemas.
This morning, then, as Little Mister and Baby Bear nap, I wanted to sleep too, but Curly, ever my demanding child, is miserable at being left alone and unattended. More than a worn-out Little Mister or a two-month-old Baby Bear, she is my dilemma.
Just to get a nap, I am sorely tempted to call one of our friends and plead with them to take her for a few hours. But I can't bring myself to do it since taking my perfectly healthy five-year-old who is capable of being quiet for a few hours wouldn't seem like much of a priority. Yet to me it is. Because as hard as she tries to be good, she has too much Taz in her genetic makeup. She bangs cupboard doors looking for markers. She stubs her toe and shrieks. She wanders around, bored and suffering. And I cannot nap.
How do I ask for help? Maybe she should suffer with the rest of us: Little Mister, who finally passed his giant BM at 8 this morning and fell asleep without even eating breakfast; Hubby who got maybe half an hour of sleep yet still insisted on going to work because things are so behind and stressful there that a missed day might spell disaster; me, who could fall asleep on a concrete floor right now, but not when my little girl is crying. A family together suffers together and her cross to bear is silence and solitude. If she would only bear it quietly!
So I don't call anyone. I can't bring myself to do it, to bother friends who are busy homeschooling, who have three and four children of their own who may or may not have slept last night. I almost never ask for help. I don't know how.